A dramatic video clip of a lightning bolt slamming across the sky over Sydney and seeming to narrowly miss an incoming Qantas flight testifies to an evening of violent storms over the city, with two people struck by lightning.
The video clip, filmed by photographer Daniel Shaw on Tuesday night, can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njms4iu9q_8
Shaw sheltered in his car in the suburb of La Perouse as lightning and thunder rolled over Sydney Airport and the city’s southern suburbs. As he watched, several lightning bolts tore across the sky within sight of a Qantas aircraft.
“That was scary,” says a voice on the clip, probably Shaw’s. In fact planes are built to handle such conditions and there was unlikely to have been any danger. It was probably riskier on the ground, where two women were hit separately by lightning.
Lightning struck one woman in the western Sydney suburb of St Marys. She was taken to Nepean Hospital where her condition was said to be stable, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Another woman, said to be in her 20s, was hit by lightning in the inner-city suburb of Newtown. She was rushed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition, the paper said.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned that severe thunderstorms would bring large hailstones, flash flooding and damaging winds across the metropolitan area. The storm delayed 10 international services by up to 90 minutes and affected some domestic flights.
A series of storm cells is passing over eastern Australia. Today (Thursday 22 October 2015) at 12.27pm BOM warned as follows for New South Wales: “Severe thunderstorms may produce large hailstones and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Kempsey, Casino, Kyogle, Tabulam and Dorrigo.”
Yesterday evening BOM issued a warning that severe thunderstorms were likely to produce “damaging winds and large hailstones” in an area of country New South Wales including Walgett, Dubbo, Parkes, Nyngan, Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina.
Also yesterday, BOM warned that severe thunderstorms were likely to bring damaging winds to an area of Queensland including Charleville, Cunnamulla, St George, Bollon, Mitchell and Dirranbandi.
It is springtime in Australia.
Written by Peter Needham